Does God hate Fred Phelps?

Fred Phelps is dying.

Who is Fred Phelps?  He is the founder of the highly controversial Westboro Baptist Church, a man who is known for protesting high-profile funerals with signs that read “God Hates Fags.”  The church is widely known for its extreme positions against gay marriage and offensive demonstrations interrupting the funerals of dead servicemen.  And as you read these words, he is reported to be lying on his deathbed at a hospice center in Kansas.

And I am wondering how the world feels about his imminent passing.  Okay, on the surface, perhaps that seems a tad bit obvious.  It does not require a stretched imagination to think that many people will not be too entirely sad or disappointed to no longer see him physically be a part of our society, given the number of individuals he placed himself at odds with for one reason or another.  But I am also wondering if there is anyone anywhere who will be able to celebrate his passing not because of his discriminatory and intolerant behaviors here on earth and they will simply being glad to see him go, but because his soul, too, carried gifts and opportunities and remembrances for us all to experience.

How can intolerance be a gift?  How does discrimination provide opportunity?  What remembrances could possibly be had under the guise of hatred?

Fair questions.

It is one thing to say we believe something.  It is another thing entirely to implement those beliefs into a way of living, to actually incorporate them into the day-to-day choices and actions and events of our lives.

I may claim to believe that we are all one.  But am I able to live from that place of believing in the most challenging situations and am I able to apply that way of thinking in the most difficult relationships I find myself involved with?

I may claim to believe in a God who does not judge.  But am I able to afford that same understanding to ALL human beings, even those whose lives create pain and hardship for so many others?

I may declare myself as someone who loves unconditionally.  But am I truly capable of removing the conditions from my loving someone who, from outward appearances, is virtually unlovable?

Just as the little angel in The Little Soul and the Sun agreed to do, perhaps Fred Phelps chose to experience this lifetime as someone who would stand in darkness so that others may stand in the light.

So I am wondering how you feel about the Soul called Fred Phelps as the moment where he takes his last breath on earth draws closer and closer with each passing minute.  What are your thoughts about what his life meant to you and to our world?   Will you be celebrating that moment for one particular reason or another?

(Lisa McCormack is a Feature Editor at The Global Conversation and lives in Orlando, Florida.  To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at

Please Note: The mission of The Global Conversation website is to generate an ongoing sharing of thoughts, ideas, and opinions at this internet location in an interchange that we hope will produce an ongoing and expanding conversation ultimately generating wider benefit for our world. For this reason, links that draw people away from this site will be removed from our Comments Section, a process which may delay publication of your post. If you wish to include in your Comment the point of view of someone other than yourself, please feel free to report those views in full (and even reprint them) here.
Click here to acknowledge and remove this note: